Public & Administrative Law
Van Doorne is the firm for the public/semi-public sector. We translate our high-quality and always up-to-date legal expertise into practical and long-term solutions for all facets of public enterprise. Administrators of the State, provinces, municipalities and independent administrative bodies engage us. We also assist public-sector companies, like ports and airports and transport companies, as well as (other) commercial parties who want to work together or, on the contrary, have conflicts with public authorities. As we focus on both government and business, we understand both sides' interests like no other and know our way around the administrative-political playing field extremely well. Besides being creative sparring partners and advisers, we are true litigators: we regularly litigate in the (highest) administrative courts and also in civil cases on disputes with the government.

Physical environment and spatial planning

Our densely populated country requires systemic solutions in many areas like housing, infrastructure, nitrogen deposition and water quality. Drawing on our many years of experience, we would be happy to think together with you about solutions at both area and site level (plans and projects) within these complex policy areas, and about loss resulting from government planning decisions and compensation for loss resulting from administrative acts. With a good feel for the interests involved, our team advises on the legal frameworks within which you, as a public authority or initiator, can move. Our advice covers both the process and the material substance/substantiation of decisions, from small-scale land-use plan to area development. We teach and publish widely on the subject. For example, Ingeborg Wind is a permanent lecturer in Environmental Law at the Institute for Construction Law.


Environmental law broadly covers all aspects of law concerning waste products, soil protection and remediation, emissions control, circular issues, the ‘end of waste’ policy, discharges and water quality and the distribution of scarce space. Our team has specialist knowledge and experience in environmental law in a broad sense. We follow the latest developments on licensing, enforcement and supervision. We have been assisting the complex industry for years.


Nature conservation law is complex, as evidenced by the nitrogen issue we are currently facing. This is mainly because the legal frameworks are set out in a very detailed way. Those frameworks also change frequently, partly because of developments in European and national case law. Our team not only advises about and litigates on (the need for) exemptions for species or permits for Natura 2000 areas for all kinds of projects, like racing circuits, wind and solar farms and other (area) developments, but also provides support in assessing the legal policy frameworks on complex area issues like fauna damage in the case of the goose policy, the so-called “zero levels” of wild game, the nitrogen policy and issues on drainage and irrigation.

General administrative law

Our team has particular expertise in general public law. This covers matters like administrative enforcement, the Open Government Act, the issue of grants, public-order law and the Public Demonstrations Act. We publish and advise on, litigate and teach all these subjects. See, for example, Jan van der Grinten’s advice ‘Perspectives on the office of mayor’ to the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, which the latter sent in a letter to the Lower House, the many chronicles on public-order law in the Gemeentestem (Administrative law journal for municipal legal practice) and the annual contribution to the VNG’s (Association of Dutch Municipalities) legal two-day event covering current affairs in the area of public order. Mayors find our team to be the perfect advisor and sparring partner for complex or politically sensitive public order issues.

Public liability and government contracts

Our team advises public authorities, companies and institutions on the legality of government acts and possible liability for damage resulting from unlawful government acts or breaches of contract. If necessary, we litigate about this before both the civil and administrative courts.

Knowledge sharing and development of the law

We also bring our knowledge of this field to bear in education: Cees Kniestedt teaches government liability law to the Aldermen’s Association, Jan van der Grinten is a lecturer on this subject at Leiden University and the SSR, the training institute for the judiciary. Ingeborg Wind regularly lectures at the Institute of Construction Law. As a firm, we also like to contribute to the development of the law by speaking at conferences and seminars, by teaching and leading training courses and by making contributions to the legal literature.